The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse—here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness—from power to cardiovascular endurance—through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete—a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 months) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
At Guruv Yoga’s three locations, students of all skill levels and ages can pick from a wide variety of yoga classes, which are offered seven days a week. Instructors boast experience in various disciplines, ranging from intense Bikram yoga sessions to calming morning classes designed to wake up pupils with uplifting music and a ceremonial pajama burning. A meditation room at the Lake Mary location adds to the studio’s calming atmosphere and provides a room for pre-class centering or private yoga sessions.
In Balance’s seasoned yogis and certified trainers lead invigorating excursions into a realm of core-crunching, body-balancing classes. Those that yearn for yoga can flex their way to lean musculature with a variety of yoga classes, which include Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Power Yoga, Yoga for Weight Loss, and Yoga for Beginners. Pilates classes focus on slow, impactful choreography that benefits both amateur exercisers and pro core developers, and the beginner-friendly IB Barre class, which is taught by a team of trained ballet-dance instructors, uses a ballet barre as a tool to chisel calves and tighten rears. In Balance’s schedule offers more than 30 yoga and Pilates classes weekly.
With more than a decade of experience stowed in his steady fingers, makeup artist Kevin Perez has built quite a resume. He's done runway makeup for Victoria Secret and Cover Girl, and has even lent his talents to the entertainment industry, including at venues such as Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockettes' rouge-covered legs. But rather than keep the tricks of the trade to himself, Kevin shares them with others in the Alamodaa series of themed workshops. Over a few hours, Kevin imparts his professional techniques to experts and amateurs alike, all while focusing on a specific subject, such as embellishing eyes with blush and shadow and maintaining complexions with face lotions, treatments, and more.
While attending beauty shows around the country as a technical instructor, Lisa Mitchell found that many stylists were struggling with the same issue: how to turn their talent into a successful business. As a salon veteran with a penchant for maintaining full bookings, Lisa realized she was in a position to help. Today, she uses a small classroom setting to give stylists and salon owners insight into attracting clients—whether it's through managing day-to-day operations or mastering new trends. But Lisa's expertise isn't just limited to haircare. As a licensed real-estate agent, she can also help clients sell or purchase their business as well as negotiate commercial lease agreements.